Brand Angelina Jolie

With Angelina Jolie being lauded as a hero worldwide for her valiant effort to have a preventative double mastectomy, there’s also the BRAND and PR story of Angelina Jolie. Even previous to this, Jolie’s brand has shined – Best-selling PR Book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” by CEO of 5WPR Ronn Torossian had a section on Jolie.

Angelina Jolie courtesy Gage Skidmore

Angelina Jolie courtesy Gage Skidmore

The following is a book excerpt with permission:

The Transformational Power of Giving Back

The right kind of charity work, timed well, can help restore a tarnished image. Angelina Jolie is a great example. For a while, Jolie seemed not on the edge but all the way over the precipice, what with making out with her brother, breaking up Laura Dern’s marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, and wearing Thornton’s
blood in a charm around her neck. She was a wild child; over the last few years however, she’s done a great job turning her image around (even while stealing Jennifer Aniston’s husband). Now she not only speaks out against global poverty when most actresses pontificate about metallic flats versus leather stilettos
(or comment on political issues they know little about), but she also puts her money, time, and resources where her mouth is. Her brand today is not only about being a gorgeous woman and a talented actress but also an effective activist and fundraiser for causes having to do with children around the world.

This is an aspect of the actress’s brand that has been built over many years of hard work, and it’s clearly authentic. It has worked very well.

The actress also cleverly revealed that she was expecting a baby with Brad Pitt during a charitable mission. In 2006, Jolie and Pitt flew to Haiti and visited a school supported by a charity. The first pictures of a pregnant Jolie were sold to People magazine for a reported $500,000 donation to the charity. The Jolie-Pitt Foundation donated $2 million to buy and distribute medications to treat diseases that are ravaging Ethiopia, the country from which her daughter Zahara Marley was adopted. Before that, Jolie became a goodwill ambassador for the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. In that role, she visited displaced
people in more than 20 countries, including Sierra Leone, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Jolie has also returned to Haiti many times, most recently in 2010 to distribute aid after an earthquake devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince. This just scratches the surface of the charitable work Jolie has done. In 2007, Jolie visited a refugee camp in Chad for a second time in order to raise awareness of the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the killing in Darfur. In 2008, Jolie made a trip to Afghanistan to plea for international assistance for refugees.

Jolie is clearly authentic in her passion for these causes and it has worked for her, but can anyone doubt that for however much time and money she’s donated, she’s gotten it back many times over in salary and reputational reward? She took flak in the media for selling her pregnant photos to People for a charity
donation, but she shouldn’t have. Why would she give photos away for nothing and give them to tabloids who seem more obsessed with her tattoos and personal life than what she does as an actress and activist?

Owning a PR Agency, I respect people who want to control their own content and pursue their positions of power or notoriety to do good in the world. The charity initiatives have worked to burnish her reputation and public standing because her work is very real. The brand you see of Angelina Jolie at the UN or as a mother is real.

Photo credit: Angelina Jolie image courtesy Gage Skidmore 

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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